Watching Suzanne (front) 1 is a print by Julian Opie from his 2006 Watching Suzanne series, rendered in the artist’s graphic style. The print features an image of a woman’s torso and thighs as seen from the front, wearing only her underwear. The image is depicted exclusively in black and white and very thick lines.
In cropping out the figure’s arms and lower half of her legs, Opie creates a highly abstracted image of the human form. Despite the flattened picture plane and use of thick, graphic lines, the image exudes a sense of realism in the way it captures the human body and thus provokes a bodily response from the viewer. Opie’s effectiveness in depicting the human form mixed with his strong sense of line, and bold use of simplified shapes is indicative of the way he strikes a balance between graphic design and high art.
Watching Suzanne (Front) 1 forms part of a series of 20 images of the figure, that when considered alongside one another, form an animation made up of still images. Opie shows the figure moving her hips from side to side then turning to face away from the viewer. The intense cropping of each image alludes to this notion of a snapshot in time, as opposed to providing the viewer with an entire storyline.